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Archive for May, 2007

Custom Paperback Reformation Study Bibles

Jeff Fuller at The Reformed Evangelist writes:

Paperback Study Bibles are a rare find, in the ESV they don’t exist. Yet through a generous donation from Ligonier Ministries combined with the genius of their Creative Department, a box of the very first custom-made paperback Reformation Study Bibles arrived at my home.

Why are these paperbacks so special? They aren’t special because they are rare, the special thing about these study bibles is that they were made to put in the hands of men in the prison system. Hardcover and leather-type covers are not permitted because the materials can be used to create weapons. Only paperback books are allowed in the County Jail I visit weekly.

Convincing a publisher to custom-produce a few Bibles for you: that’s dedication. From a publishing standpoint, custom-producing a few paperback Bibles is no mean feat. Congratulations to Jeff and Ligonier.

(Of course, visiting a jail weekly to evangelize also takes dedication.)

See a slideshow of the paperback Reformation Study Bibles and other materials Jeff uses in his ministry

May 29, 2007 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:16 am | 1 Comment »

The Form of the Bible: From Scroll to Book to Digital

Julie Clawson at onehandclapping posts a long paper that describes how the physical shape of the Bible has changed over time, starting with scrolls and later moving to the current book (codex) form.

She talks in particular how the shift from scrolls to books helped cement the understanding of the Bible as a unified whole and aided the development of the canon:

While there were many factors contributing to the development of the Christian canon, the existence of the codex help the process. Although it was not “until the fourth century that relative agreement was reached about precisely which books should be in the [New Testament] canon,” the process began as soon as the first Christian documents were written. The question of which books were the proper ones to follow was an important issue for the early church. Many books claimed, some falsely, to give true Gospel accounts or to teach true theology. For the lay Christian who was eager to encounter any Christian writing, there existed a great danger of being exposed to incorrect books.

With the invention of the codex, collections of writings were made possible. As a result of these collections, “when certain, approved, texts were gathered into small collections this had the effect of ostracizing and isolating texts which were not deemed suitable for inclusion.” The codex prevented the easy spread of random writings that were not approved by the church leaders. If they created a collection and left certain writings out, those writings had a very small chance of being seen as important by other Christians….

In addition, “the users of these codices would have accepted all the texts in the Bible codex as having equal status.” When the writings of Peter were placed next to the writings of Paul, both were seen as valid. When those writings had existed as separate scrolls, division grew and there were opposing sides of those who followed Peter and those who followed Paul. The inclusion of both in one codex gave them equal status.

Julie also discusses how digitizing the Bible and posting it on websites may affect interpretation by lessening the impression of unity provided by a physical book. On the other hand, she says, digitization allows more interaction with the text.

Julie notes that this paper was originally a college research paper. She posted it on Google Docs for the world to see, which is an interesting way of archiving old files that—who knows?—will probably be useful to someone.

Note: we added paragraphs to the block quote.

May 25, 2007 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:27 am | Comments Off »

ESV Reverse Interlinear New Testament Is Christian Book Award Finalist

Learn more about the ESV Reverse Interlinear The ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament is a finalist for the 2007 ECPA Christian Book Award in the “Bibles” category. The other finalists in this category are the Archaeological Study Bible, the Family Foundations Study Bible, the New Women’s Devotional Bible, and the TNIV Study Bible.

See the complete list of finalists in all six categories. “Presented annually to the finest in Christian publishing since 1978, the Christian Book Awards honor titles in six categories—Bibles, Bible Reference & Study, Christian Life, Fiction, Children & Youth, and Inspiration & Gift.”

Two Crossway books are finalists in other categories: What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper (Christian Life category) and Your Special Gift by Max Lucado (Children & Youth category).

May 23, 2007 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:12 am | 1 Comment »

Over 500,000 ESV Outreach New Testaments Have Been Sold

From Crossway’s press release:

The ESV Outreach New Testament was awarded the Gold Book Award by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) at the 2007 ECPA Management Conference on Sunday, April 29th. More than 500,000 ESV Outreach New Testaments have been sold since its publication in September 2006.

The ESV Outreach New Testament has been the cornerstone of Crossway’s “Spread the Word!” campaign. Through this bold initiative, Crossway has subsidized a feature-filled ESV New Testament in order to make it available through Christian retail stores at $.50 per copy. As a result of this effort churches, ministries, and individuals have been able to purchase and distribute God’s Word in exciting new ways. More information about the campaign is available at http://spreadtheword.esv.org.

May 21, 2007 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:32 am | Comments Off »

Memorization Mishmash

“Der Bettler” at Hoc Est Verum writes about the mishmash that often comes out when quoting a Bible verse from memory, a result of using and memorizing several different Bible translations over his life. He concludes:

My point is this: If you are in any position that requires you to read, recite, study, or teach the Scriptures, Confessions, or any other translated document— and that should cover pretty much everyone—keep translations in mind. If possible, try to use one translation of a text for a long period of time (decades, if possible). I know Luther spoke to this at one point but I seem to be unable to find the source. Modern Christians have enough hindrance to memorization from busy schedules, apathy, abundance of electronic sources, and the like. Anything we can do to promote memorization of important Scripture passages and the Catechism, we should do.

We encourage you to memorize portions the Bible regardless of which translation you choose. Memorization makes the Bible more a part of you.

May 18, 2007 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:05 am | Comments Off »